Table of contents

Student Ambassadors’ Data Stories of TEDxHKBU

A Story about Data.

February 20, 2014

Making things happen is interesting. It would even become more interesting when it is something like TEDx. We have prepared the event for months, and we finally reached the point when we could call for student ambassadors. I want to tell the data stories of student ambassadors because it just took one day for our applications to have less than 30 applicants to almost 300.

This is a simple data analysis. It aims to find out a little about how to reach out to people in HKBU and how people act and think related to the event. I want to make it a reference for team members of TEDxHKBU as well as organizers from other events.

The increasement was basically done by sending mass emails to a large number of students before one day of the application deadline. The strategy was done by accident, but turned out to be really useful. We will talk about what happened before sending the mass email, what happened on that single day, and what can we learn from the result.


Before sending the mass email, the university ITO and SA helped us to put the recruitment information on a platform called e-announcement. To have a quick look of the e-announcement system, we see that:

  • It is like a static web page.
  • It is updated per day.
  • Subscribers cannot receive notifications.

The e-announcement system is still useful in this way because we see constant applications from 11th February to 19th February. At the same time, we set the deadline to 23:59 20th February, 2014 and we felt content to got about 30 applicants.

Application Summary from 11th to 19th

Mass Emails

To give you a quick look of what happened in the last day of the application, let’s again look at the chart, but add 20th for comparation.

Application Summary from 11th to 20th

We see that there is a significant increase of applicants in 20th Feb. In numbers, there are in total 38 valid applications from 11th February to 19th February. However, we got 298 applicants in the single day of 20th.

What have been done to achieve this?

The mass emails was sent to 25106 receivers from 11:00PM 19th to 9:00PM 20th, as shown in the graph:

Email Sending Process

From the data, we can calculate the transfer rate from email to applicants, it is 1.34%. At the same time, 800 unique clicks to the application form results in the transfer rate from clicks to applicants with 42.12%.

How people act for the application?

Because the major applicants come from the last day of the application, we would also like to know when those applications are finished.

Applications in 20th

We see the applications are submitted mainly in the morning around 9am and at night around 11pm.

What are people talking about in the application?

|—————————————————————-+——-| | Topic |Count | |—————————————————————-+——-| | education - teaching and learning |128 | | arts, culture and entertainment - language |65 | | science and technology - IT/computer sciences |47 | | health treatment - diet |44 | | human science - psychology |30 | | religion and belief - cult and sect |28 | | religion and belief - philosophy |21 | | social issues (general) - discrimination |20 | | education - entrance examination |16 | | science and technology - mathematics |15 | | education - further education |15 | | labour - advanced training |12 | | people - accomplishment |10 | | social issue - family |9 | | science and technology - technology (general) |9 | | family - sex |8 | | applied science - physics |8 | | family - parent and child |8 | | arts, culture and entertainment - arts (general) |8 | | economy, business and finance - media |7 | | company information - marketing |6 | | sports event - Commonwealth Games |6 | | arts, culture and entertainment - entertainment (general) |6 | | health - physical fitness |6 | | lifestyle and leisure - gastronomy |6 | |—————————————————————-+——-|